Legal aid to children in District Jail, Lahore (2007 to date)
Sanjog under Legal Aid Program has been working in District jail, Lahore for providing legal aid to children in detention. Sanjog’s in house lawyers as well as pro-bono lawyers visit jails and identify children who need legal aid because either the family is unaware of the child’s detention or the family is not in a position to afford a lawyer for getting their child out of the jail. Sanjog after taking up the case pursues the case in the court(s) till the case is disposed off by the court.
Psychologist of Sanjog work with the child by providing them counseling inside the jails in form of individual counseling sessions similarly group counseling sessions are provided to tackle the issues in form of a group. Female psychologists visits the home of the children before and after the child’s release from the jail for providing family counseling to the family for working out the issues which forced the child in committing an offence.
In most cases the children in detention are either living on the street or working on the street in order to survive. Sanjog is aware of the dynamics of streets of Pakistan and reunifies the children once they are released from jails resulting from bail or after the ending of case. Social worker traces the family once the case is taken up for legal aid by Sanjog. Social worker and psychologist follow up on each child from minimum of 3 to 6 months depending on the circumstance of each case.
Released children are provided vocational/ technical skill in order to empower them socio-economically and for improving their standard of living. Children are enrolled in partner government or private skill institutions for learning skills as these institutes provide relaxed rules for admission of these children.
475 Cases of juvenile were taken from District Jail of Lahore and provided services to them. This project has been financially supported by Groupe Developpement, the European Commission and more recently by Save the Children.